Accident Case

May 8, 2015: Criminal Appeal No. 572 of 2015 was listed before the Hon’ble Mr. Justice Abhay M. Thipsay, presiding over Court Room No. 21A. The advocates of the Accused appeared on behalf of the Accused. The Public Prosecutor appeared on behalf of State of Maharashtra. 

The Hon’ble Judge was pleased to admit the appeal and grant leave to amend the appeal memo. The Hon’ble Judge then heard arguments in Criminal Application no. 592 of 2015 in Criminal Appeal No. 572 of 2015, on the matter of suspending the sentences awarded by the Hon’ble Sessions Court. The Hon’ble High Court heard the submissions made by the respective advocates and observed that the Accused was on bail throughout the trial even after addition of the charge under section 304-II. The Accused is not likely to abscond if released on bail during the pendency of the appeal, and there is not even a suggestion to that effect. Normally in such cases the State does not oppose the suspension of sentence during the pendency of the appeal in case of an accused who is on bail during the trial. However in view of the fact that in this case some opposition has been offered the Hon’ble Judge considered the possibility of directing the appeal to be expeditiously heard. Since the advocates had no objection, the Hon’ble Court directed that the appeal be heard and decided expeditiously. The Hon’ble Court, for reasons recorded, suspended the sentence during pendency of appeal and directed the Accused be released on bail in the sum of Rs. 30,000/- with one surety in like amount and the Accused shall surrender before the Hon’ble Sessions Court and execute necessary bail bonds with conditions. The appeal shall be listed on board for directions on June 15, 2015 and as far as possible shall be heard finally in the month of July, 2015.

Accordingly the Accused has complied with the interim order. 

Accident Case

May 6, 2015: Sessions Case No. 240 of 2013 was listed before Court Room No. 52 presided by His Honor Judge Mr. D. W. Deshpande. The Accused appeared alongwith his advocates. The Special Public Prosecutor appeared on behalf of State of Maharashtra. 

His Honor Judge Mr. D.W. Deshpande was pleased to pronounce the final judgement in the matter and sought submissions on the sentence. Submissions were advanced, after hearing which His Honor Judge Mr. D.W. Deshpande passed an order convicting the Accused under section 235 (2) of the Cr.PC for the offence punishable under section 304-II of the Indian Penal Code and sentenced to suffer rigorous imprisonment for a period of 5 years and to pay fine of Rs. 25,000/-. The Accused was also convicted for offences committed under sections 337 and 338 of the Indian Penal Code and under section 134 r/w 187, 185, 3 (1) r/w 181 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 for which shorter terms of sentence were awarded. All these sentences shall run concurrently. The advocates for the Accused sought a copy of the order. The operative part of the order was made available by about 1:35pm. The advocates for the Accused preferred an appeal before the Hon’ble Bombay High Court and mentioned the appeal before the Hon’ble Mr. Justice Abhay M. Thipsay, presiding over Court Room No. 21A, who was pleased to place the matter for production at 4:30pm. The Hon’ble Judge heard the matter and was pleased to observe that since the Accused was on bail throughout the trial, and since a copy of the impugned judgement of conviction had not yet been furnished to him, the appeal was directed to be listed for admission on May 8, 2015 and in the meantime the Accused was permitted to remain on the same bail as was granted to him during the trial, but on executing a fresh bond before the trial court. Accordingly the Accused executed a fresh bond before the Hon’ble Sessions Court. The copy of the impugned judgement was provided by the Hon’ble Sessions Court to the Accused at about 6:20pm.

Jodhpur Case

April 29, 2015:  Arms Act (Criminal Case no. 68/2011): the Accused recorded his additional statement under section 313 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, today.

Accident Case

Sessions Case No. 240 of 2013: The Advocates of the Accused completed their final arguments in answer to the charges framed against the Accused for the following offences:

i. under sections 304 Part II, 337 and 338 of the Indian Penal Code

ii.under sections 3 (1), 134, 185 and 187 of the Motor Vehicles Act.

The main arguments of the Accused in defence, based on the evidence on record, were as follows:

  1. The unfortunate accident that occurred in the early morning of 28.9.2002 at around 2.30-2.45 am, at the junction of Hill Road and St. Andrews Road, Bandra (W) was caused by the front left tyre of the Land Cruiser bursting and Ashok Singh, the driver of the Accused, consequently losing control of the car.
  2. The Prosecution has failed to make out any case against the Accused. Since inception, the present case has been prosecuted against the Accused on surmises, conjectures, contradictions and discrepancies. It is an established principle in criminal jurisprudence that the prosecution is required to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt. The Hon’ble Supreme Court has held in State of Haryana vs. Ram Singh (2002) 2 SCC 426:

– it is prosecutor’s duty to prove beyond all reasonable doubts and not the defence to prove its innocence –

3.   Only one eye witness, PW Ravindra Patil (PW Patil), being the police constable assigned for protection duty to the Accused, has stated that the Accused was driving the Land Cruiser (Car). The sequence of events and evidence of PW Patil are full of                   improvements over time, show several contradictions, are  unbelievable, and cannot be the basis of a conviction. The  Hon’ble Supreme Court has held in Badri v. State of Rajasthan (1976) 1  SCC 442:

“… If a witness, who is the only witness against the accused to prove a serious charge of murder, can modulate his evidence to suit a particular prosecution theory for the deliberate purpose of  securing a conviction, such a witness cannot be considered as a           reliable person and no conviction can be based on his sole  testimony.”

    4. Since the date of the incident, the Prosecution has deliberately suppressed for thirteen years, that driver Ashok Singh had visited the Bandra police station in the early morning of September 28, 2002, and had informed the police that he was driving the Car.

5. Both PW Patil and PW-27 Kishan Shengal, who was the Senior Inspector at Bandra Police Station at the time and who, as per his evidence, took over the investigation on 01.10.2002, have referred to driver Ashok Singh in their depositions. PW-27 has gone to the extent of stating in his cross-examination “I investigated about Ashok driver. I interrogated him but I did not record his statement.”  No explanation is offered about this by the Prosecution. The argument advanced by the Prosecution that this story is made up after thirteen years is belied by the evidence. As per the Indian criminal justice system, there was in fact no occasion before this for the Accused to disclose his defence.

6. PW Patil has deposed that he had phoned the police control room. The Accused says he had asked driver Ashok Singh to call the police shortly after the accident and, accordingly, driver Ashok Singh had called the police control room. PW-26 PSI Kadam, the first investigating officer, has admitted that every call made to the control room is recorded in the VHF Register. Collection of information in respect of the call could have thrown some light on this most important aspect i.e. the name of the caller and the details of the information communicated by caller. This information could have been treated as the First Information Report (FIR). However, the Prosecution has not produced the details of the call and, as such, the evidence of PW Patil cannot be relied upon to conclude that he had made the call. PW-26 has in his evidence stated that PW Patil did not    disclose orally or by written information about the incident prior to lodging complaint in the police station.

7.The complaint stated to be made by PW Patil at 5.45 am on 28.9.2002 cannot be treated as an FIR, as the same is not first in point of time. It is filed after considerable delay. The evidence shows that the FIR was not prepared even on 29.9.2002 morning when PW–   19, (Motor Vehicle Inspector Rajendra Keskar), demanded the FIR at the time of inspection of the Car. This circumstance is extremely suspicious, as it is not possible that the police will not show a copy of the FIR or panchnama to another officer who is involved in the investigation. Further, the FIR was not sent to the Ld. Magistrate the same day as required by Section 157 of Cr.PC and the Police Manual. It was sent the next day. Two officers, API Yadav and PSI Kadam are stated to have recorded the FIR. It is unheard of that an FIR is recorded jointly by a senior and a junior officer. Strangely, the      Prosecution has not examined API Yadav as a witness.

8.PW Patil’s Statement recorded on 28.9.2002 does not mention that the Accused had consumed alcohol on 27/28.9.2002, let alone that the Accused was under the influence of alcohol. The allegation of alcohol consumption was added on 1.10.2002 viz. on the fourth days thereafter, by a Supplementary Statement of PW Patil. This is clearly an after-thought of the police. It is unbelievable that a policeman would leave out such an important aspect in his first Statement, and only introduce it on the fourth day.

9.The version of the accident given by PW Patil is falsified by circumstantial evidence, the evidence of other witnesses examined by the Prosecution, and by the contents of an interview given to Mid-Day newspaper by PW Patil, which was published on 30.9.2002 and is a part of the evidence (cross-examination) of PW Patil.

10. In his evidence before the Ld. Magistrate, PW Patil has stated that the Accused drove from his residence to Rain Bar, then to JW Marriott and was driving back to his residence thereafter when he was speeding, drunk, and lost control of the car, resulting in the             incident/accident. In the interview given by PW Patil that formed the basis of the article published by the Mid-Day newspaper, he is supposed to have said the Accused’s driver, Altaf, drove from the residence to Rain Bar, and later to JW Marriott. There is no explanation what happened to Altaf thereafter. There is no mention of the Accused having consumed alcohol. The Accused has been deprived of the right of cross-examination of PW Patil on this most important aspect of the case, as PW Patil has passed away.

11.No valet/ doorman from Rain Bar has been examined as a witness to corroborate that the Accused drove to and from Rain Bar. The valet at JW Marriott hotel who allegedly took the Car from the Accused to park it, Yogesh Kadam, has not been examined as a            witness. The Prosecution has also not produced the valet tag, in evidence, that they claim was given to the Accused by Yogesh Kadam, and on which Yogesh Kadam’s name was written as per the evidence of PW-12 Kalpesh Verma (the valet who claims to              have brought the Car to the Accused when he came out of Enigma pub at JW Marriott). The only conclusion that can be drawn from this is that Yogesh Kadam refused to lie and follow the police instructions, to say that the Accused drove the car to the JW                 Marriott hotel (when in fact driver Altaf had driven), and that the Accused was drunk (which he was not).

12. PW-12 does not give evidence that the Accused actually drove the car. He stops at saying he saw the Accused sitting in the driver’s seat in the porch of JW Marriott hotel. He does not say the Accused was drunk. No doorman or security guard who would be        at the door or gate of JW Marriott hotel has been examined as a witness.

13. The Prosecution have not called the other person they say was in the Car, Kamal Khan, as a witness.

14. PW-27, Senior PI Kisan Shengal who took over the investigation as per his own evidence on 01.10.2002, has admitted in his cross examination that the finger prints of the Accused were taken and a forensic team had inspected the Car. He has also admitted that the finger prints of the Accused were sent for comparison. The result of the finger print examination is not produced in the court and no explanation has been tendered by the Prosecution for this. Thus, an adverse inference can be drawn that the finger prints found on the steering wheel did not match with the finger prints of the Accused.

15. PW-9, Rizwan Rakhangi, the manager at Rain Bar, being a  natural witness and there being no reason to disbelieve, has stated in evidence that he escorted the Accused outside Rain Bar to the open space when the Accused was leaving, and that he saw four people in the car, including the Accused.  PW-8, Ramasare Pande, being the owner of a dairy near the spot of the accident, and also a natural witness and there being no reason to disbelieve, has deposed “Two persons were also present in the car in addition to           Salman and police constable Patil, but I do not know who were the two persons”. The defence has thus proved the preponderance of probability that four persons were present in the Car.

16. No witness has stated that the Accused ordered or consumed alcohol at Rain Bar. The Prosecution witnesses say that the Accused was standing at the bar counter as there was a crowd of about 200 people at Rain Bar that night. PW-9, Rizwan Rakhangi,         has stated in his evidence “The particular numbers were given to the tables which were arranged in the restaurant. For the purpose of billing the table numbers are important.” Four bills are produced by the Prosecution, respectively bearing Table Nos. 38, 40, 13 and 18. Clearly, these have been randomly collected by the police, and falsely sought to be linked to the Accused. PW-9 has, in his evidence, stated that these bills were collected by the police. These bills cannot be attributed to the Accused.

17. The police had recorded the statements of three employees of  Enigma pub at JW Marriott hotel, who had stated that the Accused had only consumed water at Enigma pub. The Prosecution has not examined any of these three as witnesses.

18. Neither PW Patil nor any other witness at Rain Bar or JW Marriott has given evidence that the Accused was smelling of alcohol or seemed to be under the influence of alcohol. PW Patil does not explain when he realised the Accused was drunk. In an air-         conditioned car he could have easily smelt the alcohol. In fact, as a policeman, he would not have allowed the Accused to drive and/or put himself at risk by being driven by a man who was as drunk as is later alleged.

19. It is impossible to believe the evidence of PW-3, injured Mannu Khan “After 15 minutes of the incident, Salman came out from the car… According to me Salman was caught by the people and he was drunk and felled down and got up and again he stood and was       felled down again was a important event.”  A man who cannot even stand cannot run. PW – 3 has admitted in the cross examination that he did not say this either in his police statement or in the statement recorded by the Ld. Magistrate. Thus, it is an improvement, and cannot be relied upon.

NOT A SINGLE WITNESS, OTHER THAN PW PATIL HAS SAID THAT HE SAW THE ACCUSED DRIVING THE CAR, OR CONSUMING ALCOHOL (WHICH ALLEGATION WAS ADDED BY PW PATIL FOUR DAYS LATER), LET ALONE BEING UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF ALCOHOL.

20. After saying the Car was being driven on St. Andrews Road towards Hill Road, PW Patil has stated in his cross-examination before the Ld. Magistrate “I cannot say the name of the road on which the incident car driven from Hotel J.W.Marriott to the place of  the incident.

21. PW Patil stated that they left JW Marriott hotel at 2.15 am and the accident occurred at 2.45 am. Least traffic is expected during this time of the night. PW Patil has further stated that the distance between JW Marriott hotel and the spot of the accident is 7-8 kms         and the car was being driven at 90-100 kmph. It is a matter of simple calculation that a car which is driven at 90-100 kmph will require 4 to 5 minutes to reach the accident spot from JW Marriott hotel. If it takes 30 minutes, then the speed of the Car would be 30- 35 kmph with stops and slowing down where required. If the Car had been driven at 90-100 kmph speed then the accident should have occurred at 2.20-2.25 am, which is not the case of the Prosecution.

22. If the Car was being driven at the speed of 90-100 kmph and without braking the Accused tried to take a 90 degree turn, the Car, which is an SUV and has a higher center of gravity, would have toppled. If the Car had collided with the American Express Cleaners building at this speed then the damage would have been much more. The photographs brought in evidence by the Prosecution show that the front and right side of the Car, and all internal parts of the Car were undamaged. There is only some damage to the left front corner. Air bags had not deployed. The Car merely dented the shutter of American Express Cleaners.

23. There is evidence to show the existence of speed breakers on St.Andrews Road, including near the junction, where Holy Family Hospital is situated. PW-15, Alok Panday who is also a natural witness and there being no reason to disbelieve, has stated “There are 5 to 7 speed breakers near the hospital”, and DW-1 has stated that there were speed breakers as one approaches the junction of St. Andrews Road and Hill Road. It is not possible for a car to be driven over a series of speed breakers at such high speed. It is also inconceivable that the car coming at such speed from St. Andrews Road could end up at the angle shown in the police sketch diagram, and yet miss the electric box that stands between a car approaching the junction from St. Andrews Road and American Express Laundry. It is also impossible for the front tyres of the Car to be turned towards the left after impact, as is the case which can be seen from photographs put in evidence by the Prosecution, if the Car was turning right after having come from St.Andrews Road.

24. PW Patil, PW-8 Ramasare Pande, and PW-13 Amin Kasam Shaikh, who is also a natural witness  there being no reason to disbelieve, and PW-26 PSI Kadam have deposed that the front left tyre of the car had burst. As per the Prosecution evidence, the burst tyre was never sent to a forensic lab or to any tyre expert to find out the reason for the burst. The condition of burst tyre could have thrown some light on the matter. One can conclude that no attempt was made in the investigation to find out the cause, as the        police were aware that the accident was caused by the burst of the front left tyre.

25. PW-19 Keskar has admitted that if a pointed stone comes in contact with a tyre, it can burst. He has further admitted that after a left front tyre burst, the car will pull to the left, and that in that event, the steering will become hard.

26. PW-19 Keskar was examined by the Prosecution to prove the fact that the accident was not caused due to any mechanical defect in the Car. However, it is clear from the evidence that he is not knowledgeable at all about this model of Car, he did not inspect the Car, and did not follow the prescribed procedures, including filling the prescribed proforma under the Maharashtra Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989. It is evident that PW-19 has lied about having inspected the Car, including the front left tyre. PW-19 says in his examination in chief “I was in a position to drive the car in spite of finding less air in the left front portion wheel tyre”….“I drove the vehicle about half kilometer and then parked the vehicle. I took vehicle in reverse and took U turn while testing the vehicle”. PW-26 (PSI Kadam) states in his cross-examination that “The vehicle was standing in front of the police station during the period of inspection for a one to one and a half hour period. At that time also the vehicle was not in a position to drive.” PW-19 has made basic errors in his evidence, like saying the Car had a push button start, when in fact it is in evidence that the Car is started by inserting a key in the ignition and turning it.

27. While PW-2, PW-3 and PW-4, being three of the four injured, allege they saw the Accused getting out of the driver’s side door of the Car, it is submitted that (i) it would have been impossible for any of them to have seen who was getting out of which door of the Car, as they were under the Car, and (ii) in fact the Accused did get out of the driver’s side door, being the last of the four people in the car. That the left front door was jammed has been stated by PW Patil in his evidence, as also by PW-8, PW-13 and DW-1. PW-8 has stated that PW Patil, who claims to have been sitting on the left front seat with the Accused driving the Car, was seen standing outside the Car when the Accused was getting out. This evidence negates the possibility that PW Patil was sitting on the left front seat and the Accused was driving, as in such case PW Patil could not have got out of the Car before the Accused.

28. PW Patil has stated that the Accused ran away from the spot. This evidence has been completely falsified by several other witnesses, who have admitted that the Accused was present at the spot for about 10 to 15 minutes after the accident

29. PW 7, Fransis Fernandes, also being a natural witness and there being no reason to disbelieve has, amongst other witnesses who have corroborated this, stated that the mob at the spot after the accident, was furious, and some persons were armed with rods             and stones. He further stated that he sensed danger to the life of the Accused and took the Accused away from the mob, his wife stopped a passing car and the Accused was made to sit in the car and leave.

30.PW-27 has stated in his evidence that the Accused could not be found and was traced and arrested at Almeda Park, Bandra (W). Yet, the arrest panchnama states that the Accused was arrested at Bandra Police Station at 11:00 am on 28.9.2002.

31. PW-15 has stated that he went to the residence of the Accused and met the Accused there at about 9:30 am on 28.9.2002. The Prosecution says the police searched for the Accused at his residence in the morning on 28.9.2002 and did not find him there.           There is no record, such as a search warrant or search panchnama, maintained by PW-26 or PW-27 of the police searching for the Accused that morning, which clearly that they did not do so.

32.The Prosecution’s case is that after arresting the Accused at Bandra Police Station at 10.30 am, at about 2 pm (about 13 hours after the alleged consumption of alcohol by the Accused) the Accused was taken to Bhabha Hospital and then to JJ Hospital,             where the Accused was medically examined and his blood sample drawn. No explanation is given why the Accused was taken to a second hospital, and that too all the way to JJ Hospital. No record of Bhabha Hospital has been produced about the medical examination of the Accused. PW-27 Kisan Shengal has attempted to improve the Prosecution’s case by saying that API Suryavanshi told him that the facility of blood extraction was not available in Bhabha Hospital.  API Suryavanshi, who had given a letter to the medical officer for examination of the Accused, has not been examined by the Prosecution, and the said evidence of PW-27 is required to be excluded from the evidence, being hearsay. This explanation is further falsified by the fact that Bhabha Hospital has an ICU unit. This    presupposes that facilities for surgical operations are provided, which require blood transfusion. Further, it is difficult to believe that PW-26 PSI Kadam as well as API Suryavanshi were not aware about where the Accused was required to be sent for medical examination. It is admitted that Bhabha Hospital is a municipal hospital where accused persons are regularly sent for examination to the hospital. Under these circumstances, the non-production of the record of examination   of the Accused at Bhabha Hospital shows that the record of the examination was suppressed by the Prosecution, because it does not   support their version.

33. Further, after 13 hours of the alleged consumption of alcohol it is impossible to believe that the breath of the Accused would smell of alcohol, even assuming he had consumed alcohol, which he had not.  If in fact the Accused had consumed the quantity of alcohol   that would result in the test result produced by the police, (viz. blood sample collected more than 13 hours after the alleged alcohol consumption) it is impossible to believe that the Accused could have driven the Car all the way upto the accident spot without               hitting anything. The route is about 8 kms, with cars parked on each side of the road, having over 10 significant turns, cars traveling, and people crossing the road.

34. The evidence shows the incompetence of the doctor at JJ Hospital who allegedly collected the blood of the Accused. There is clearly fabrication in the records maintained by the doctor, including changing “Breath smells” to “Breath smells alcohol”. There are       unbelievable gaps in the chain of custody and storage conditions of the alleged blood sample drawn by him at about 2.30 pm on 28.9.2002. He has not followed the prescribed procedure for blood extraction until sealing the bottle. The law requires that a chain of          custody has to be established by documents at every stage of extracting, transferring, preserving, sealing, carrying, storing and handling of the sample and all protocols must be observed strictly so that there is no room for suspicion. Any breach of the prescribed       protocols should result in discarding the entire evidence. The Prosecution has miserably failed to establish a clear chain of custody, requisite precautions, and the quality of experts and, as such, the evidence of alcohol consumption needs to be excluded           from consideration.

35. There is no plausible explanation as to what happened to the blood sample for three days, until it was allegedly examined in the laboratory on 1.10.2002 by PW-18, the Chemical Analyzer (CA). PW-27 Kisan Shengal, who had not yet taken over as investigating officer, has made a material improvement saying in his evidence that there was a fridge in his ante-chamber in the Police Station, and the bottle of blood was kept in the fridge. He has admitted that there is no mention about this anywhere in writing. In fact, PW-21 Head Constable Borade, who allegedly carried the blood sample to the CA on 30.09.2002, has admitted that when the sample was given to him by PSI Kadam, it was not cold and was at room temperature, and that there was no fridge at the Bandra Police     Station. The conclusive proof of tampering of blood is the discrepancy in the quantity of blood sent by JJ Hospital and  received by laboratory.  According to PW – 20 Dr. Pawar, he measured the sample extracted from the Accused and it was 6 ml/cc. PW – 18 Bhalshankar has stated that he measured the quantity of blood received and it was 4 ml.

36.There is discrepancy as to how many sealed samples were dispatched from JJ Hospital. PW – 20 Dr. Pawar has stated that 2 sealed phials and Form A and B were put in one envelope. However, PW – 21 has stated that two envelopes were given to him by PW-26 PSI Kadam. In one envelope there was a letter and other envelope. There were two bottles. It is not known which bottle the chemical analyser has ultimately examined.  According to PW – 18 he has analysed both the bottles and no separate record was           maintained.  In the case of Shravan Ganpat Randhir v. State of  Maharashtra (1979) Bom CR 419, the Hon’ble Bombay High Court has held:

In the submission of the learned Advocate, there is no evidence to satisfactorily account for the custody of the said blood phial from 6- 6-1975 to 9-6-1975. There is some substance in this contention. One cannot, in the circumstances, safely rule out the possibility of the blood phial being either altered or substituted.

     11…Now, in this behalf, it is possible, in a given case, to come to a conclusion that the accused has displaced the presumption arising against him by leading appropriate evidence regarding at least the probability of the defence in the aforesaid behalf. He need not prove the defence beyond reasonable doubt.”

37. The complete incompetence, untruths and contradictions of the CA who allegedly examined the blood sample, clearly show that the police have tried to create a completely false case against the Accused regarding consumption of alcohol by him that night. The   evidence of PW-18 Bhalshankar (CA) is highly unsatisfactory. Amongst other untruths, he could not say how he conducted the modified diffusion oxidation method. Yet, he says he had used the method at least 1000 times before 2002. In his evidence before the Ld. Magistrate, he had stated that he had used the morpholine test to determine the result and there was no reference whatsoever to the modified diffusion oxidation method allegedly used by him. This, and his lack of knowledge of chemistry and prescribed procedures,       completely destroys his credibility.

38.There are compelling circumstances that show that the unfortunate death of Nurulla was not the result of the act. That Nurulla was alive after the accident is borne out by PW-11, Mohd Abdulla Sheikh, being one of the injured, who has stated in his evidence “Till the car was lifted, myself and Nurulla were crying for help.”  As per PW-8 “When the car tried to lift by the crane, the bumper of the car was came out. Thereby car again felled down. The crane was again applied in order to lift the car.”  Although the post-mortem report of     Nurulla shows crushed head, neck, chest, abdomen, and all internal organs crushed badly, there is no mention in the evidence of the Prosecution of blood on the ota outside American Express Cleaners. In his evidence PW-26 IO Kadam has stated that “Blood        was noticed on the front left tyre of the vehicle… the blood was also noticed on the front left wheel base.”  If in fact the injuries in the accident had resulted in death, there would be no question of Nurulla crying for help. If Nurulla had suffered serious injuries as            shown in the post mortem report due to the accident, there were bound to be bloodstains on the ota. It seems evident that the police did not record any bloodstains on the ota, as examination of these bloodstains with photographs would have shown that they were         caused by the Car falling after being lifted by the crane, and not the body being run over by the car tyre. The post-mortem report also shows extensive crushing of head and body of Nurulla, which is inconsistent with being run over by a car tyre. It is pertinent that            PW-26 has not recorded the statement of the crane driver nor does he know the name of the crane driver, nor of the company owning/ operating the crane. It is impossible to believe this, and the only conclusion can be that the crane operator would have given a     statement/ evidence stating the true facts that the crane dropped the Car, thereby causing death of Nurulla.

39. The possibility cannot be ruled out that the atmosphere would have been charged and the manner in which the accident had occurred had evoked strong reactions, as the Car belonged to a celebrity, and he was in the Car at the time of the accident. Under these       circumstances, the police must have been under tremendous pressure to arrest the culprit at the earliest. Natural prejudices operate against celebrity accused in such cases, especially due to the presence of media and the mob outside the police station. It is          also natural that since the mob was in an agitated state, the only course available to the police was to name and arrest the Accused in order to pacify the agitated mob.

A summary of the statement of the Accused u/s 313 of the Cr.PC is as under:

On 27.9.2002, at about 11:00 p.m. the Accused’s brother Sohail Khan called to ask the Accused to join him at Rain Bar. The Accused and his friend Kamal, with PW Patil, went to Rain Bar in the car driven by driver Altaf. At that time the Accused’s family had employed three drivers, Ashok Singh, Altaf and Dutta. These drivers did not have any fixed duty hours and would work as and when required. The Accused and Kamal joined Sohail Khan, who was standing with his friends in a corner at Rain Bar, no table was available. The Accused drank some water and did not consume any alcohol. When the Accused and Kamal left Rain Bar, Altaf brought the car to the entrance and the Accused got into the front left seat, Kamal sat behind him, and PW Patil sat behind Altaf. Altaf was driving the Accused home, but they stopped on the way at nightclub Engima pub at JW Marriott Hotel. As Altaf was feeling unwell, he called Ashok to come to JW Marriott Hotel, and left. The Car keys were left with the hotel valet. At Enigma pub, the Accused only had some water and left after some time. When the Accused came out of Enigma pub, a valet brought the Car to the porch of JW Marriott as Ashok had not reached. PW Patil told the Accused, that Altaf was feeling unwell and had left, and that Ashok would be reaching shortly. The Accused sat in the driver’s seat and put on the air-conditioner. Kamal Khan sat at the back. PW Patil was standing next to the driver’s side door of the car. Soon Ashok arrived, and the Accused moved to the front left seat. Ashok drove the Car towards the Accused’s residence. The Car reached Hill Road via Manual Gonsalves Road and while driving on Hill Road, suddenly the left front tyre burst. The Car pulled to the left side. While Ashok tried to apply the brakes and control the Car, the Car climbed the steps of American Express Cleaners, hit the shutter and stopped. As the left front door was jammed, the Accused moved from above the gear lever to the driver’s seat and got out from the driver’s door, after driver Ashok had got out. The Accused and Ashok tried to lift the Car to rescue the injured, but could not do so. A large and hostile crowd started gathered and started throwing stones. PW – 7, Fransis Fernandis and his wife, whom the Accused knew, had also come. PW -7 asked the Accused to leave, since the crowd was getting violent. PW -7’s wife stopped a passing car and made the Accused go home. Before leaving, the Accused told Ashok to inform Bandra Police Station about the accident. Next morning the Accused learnt the police were looking for him and Ashok was still at Bandra Police Station. The Accused went to Bandra Police Station. On reaching the Police Station at about 10.30 am, the Accused found that a mob had gathered outside, and was shouting slogans against the Accused. The Accused met a police officer who told him that there was tremendous pressure to arrest the Accused. The Accused was shocked and tried to explain that he was not driving the Car, but the police did not listen and arrested him in a false case. The Accused was first taken to Bhabha Hospital and then to JJ Hospital. He was examined and his blood was extracted at both hospitals. A false case has been made against the Accused.

Accident Case

April 21, 2015: Sessions Case No. 240 of 2013 was listed before Court Room No. 52 presided by His Honor Judge Mr. D. W. Deshpande. The advocates of the Accused appeared. The Special Public Prosecutor appeared on behalf of State of Maharashtra. 

The advocates of the Accused concluded their arguments. The Accused’s personal appearance has been exempted by His Honour Judge Mr. D. W. Deshpande till the completion of arguments.

The advocates of the Accused and the Special Public Prosecutor had filed two separate applications against certain members of the media and PSI Rajendra Kadam in respect of certain content being published by them amounting to contempt of Court. His Honour Judge Mr. D. W. Deshpande had issued notices to the parties concerned and listed the two applications for hearing on April 21, 2015. Pursuant to the undertakings given by the respective parties, the applications were disposed off by His Honour Judge Mr. D.W. Deshpande.

His Honour Judge Mr. D. W. Deshpande has adjourned the matter to May 6, 2015, when the judgement shall be pronounced.

Accident Case

April 20, 2015: Sessions Case No. 240 of 2013 was listed before Court Room No. 52 presided by His Honor Judge Mr. D. W. Deshpande. The advocates of the Accused appeared. The Special Public Prosecutor appeared on behalf of State of Maharashtra. 

The advocates of the Accused concluded their arguments. The Accused’s personal appearance has been exempted by His Honour Judge Mr. D. W. Deshpande, till the completion of arguments.

His Honour Judge Mr. D. W. Deshpande adjourned the matter to April 21, 2015, when the date of judgement shall be announced.

Accident Case

April 18, 2015: Sessions Case No. 240 of 2013 was listed before Court Room No. 52 presided by His Honor Judge Mr. D. W. Deshpande. The advocates of the Accused appeared. The Special Public Prosecutor appeared on behalf of State of Maharashtra. 

The advocates of the Accused continued their arguments in support of the defence case. The Accused’s personal appearance has been exempted by His Honour Judge Mr. D. W. Deshpande, till the completion of arguments.

His Honour Judge Mr. D. W. Deshpande adjourned the matter to April 20, 2015, when the advocates of the Accused will continue their arguments in support of the defence case.

Accident Case

April 17, 2015: Sessions Case No. 240 of 2013 was listed before Court Room No. 52 presided by His Honor Judge Mr. D. W. Deshpande. The advocates of the Accused appeared. The Special Public Prosecutor appeared on behalf of State of Maharashtra. 

The advocates of the Accused continued their arguments in support of the defence case. The Accused’s personal appearance has been exempted by His Honour Judge Mr. D. W. Deshpande, till the completion of arguments.

His Honour Judge Mr. D. W. Deshpande adjourned the matter to April 18, 2015, when the advocates of the Accused will continue their arguments in support of the defence case.

Accident Case

April 16, 2015: Sessions Case No. 240 of 2013 was listed before Court Room No. 52 presided by His Honor Judge Mr. D. W. Deshpande. The advocates of the Accused appeared. The Special Public Prosecutor appeared on behalf of State of Maharashtra. 

The advocates of the Accused continued their arguments in support of the defence case. The Accused’s personal appearance has been exempted by His Honour Judge Mr. D. W. Deshpande, till the completion of arguments.

His Honour Judge Mr. D. W. Deshpande adjourned the matter to April 17, 2015, when the advocates of the Accused will continue their arguments in support of the defence case.

Accident Case

April 15, 2015: Sessions Case No. 240 of 2013 was listed before Court Room No. 52 presided by His Honor Judge Mr. D. W. Deshpande. The advocates of the Accused appeared. The Special Public Prosecutor appeared on behalf of State of Maharashtra. 

The advocates of the Accused continued their arguments in support of the defence case. The Accused’s personal appearance has been exempted by His Honour Judge Mr. D. W. Deshpande, till the completion of arguments.

His Honour Judge Mr. D. W. Deshpande adjourned the matter to April 16, 2015, when the advocates of the Accused will continue their arguments in support of the defence case.